As an old saying goes, “How happy we are, to greet friends from afar.” The arrival of Davis Youth Flute Choir brought me excitement as well as challenges, for it was the first time in my life that I had ever opened my arms to international students as a host. When my guest Elise hugged me like hugging an old friend, I felt my heart pounding hard.
Since I had lived with several American families when I stayed in the U.S., I had gained some understandings of the life style of American people, which helped me a lot. When I knew that Elise was a vegan, I decided to show full respect to her eating habit, which was totally different from mine. During her stay, all of my family members had vegetarian diet. According to Elise, being a vegan is more than sticking to a healthy eating habit: It is an ethical issue about the rights of animal and environmental protection. My parents and I did have a great time with Elise. We all appreciated her faith in animal protection, and we were glad to know that Elise had a comfortable stay in my place.
Traveling is one of Elise’s hobbies. First time in China, Elise was stoked to take a look. On the 9th of July, we made a group with Dorothy, Rice and their guests Linda and Sara to visit Turtle’s Head Park (Yuan Tou Zhu). With the breeze caressing our facing, we were fascinated by the beauty of nature. Afterwards, other members of the choir and their parents joined the visit.
Hui Shan Government warmly welcomed the foreign friends, and offered copious meals. In the morning, we visited Hui Shan nursing house for elderly people, Xishan Senior High School and Wu Culture Park. During the tour, every one of us was impressed by the peace and happiness of people, and the extensive and profound Chinese culture. In the afternoon, we paid a visit to Grand Buddha of Ling Shan. The Joss, Nine Dragon Fills Bath, and the Tibertan Lama Temple greatly seized the attention of guests and made them exclaim. The Buddhist Temple is the most scandalous. Various artworks, grand lobby, and the exciting performance won high praises. At the end of the day, we went to Yang Shan to visit the model of Chinese countryside construction. We were all exhausted but happy at the end of the day.
Besides the visits to places of interests, we organized great performance. We had a big show in the afternoon of 9th, July. Both Davis Youth Flute Choir and Big Bridge Academy poured their hearts into the show. Music has the magic to connect hearts and souls. Intoxicated in the beautiful music brought by DYFC and BBA, we felt the belt between the guests and us strengthened. The marvelous performance showed their superb skills, as well as their hard work. Their music won the sincere applause of the audience, and I felt truly impressed by their interpretations.
When our guests waved farewell to us, it rained heavily, as if the sky had felt our unwillingness and reluctance to see their leaving. We hugged each other and said Goodbye. The emotion that filled our hearts will always stay.
In the past few days, a group of special guests came to Wuxi—students from California who would perform in our school. As volunteers, my family and I entertained one of the students for three days, it was really a precious experience for me.
The boy is called Drew. He is two years older than me. He is tall and thin. He also has curly hair. He has a special habit that he can’t eat any meat or dairy productions. When I asked him for the reason, to my surprise, not because any religion belief, he just doesn’t like the smell of things like that. He has a great interest of Chinese culture especially paintings and music. He also told me that he wanted to learn some Chinese from us. His father Jeff also came with him. We talked a lot and found that we shared the same love for basketball. In addition, which is most important, both Jeff and Drew love drinking tea. Jeff loves black tea while Drew loves green tea.
On the first day, we met at the school and watched their rehearsing. In the evening, we went to a vegetarian restaurant. Drew liked the tofu and the gluten in Wuxi. On the second day, I took Drew and his friend to Wuxi Museum. There are a large number of Chinese traditional paintings and handwritings. Drew liked them very much.
After lunch, we drove them to the school and enjoyed their performance in the afternoon. Drew can not only play the flute but also has played the piano for one year. The show was excellent. Each of us gave a cap to them as a small gift. After that we together went to have a great buffet reception.
In the evening, I invited Drew and Jeff to take a boat trip on the canal. They were excited to watch the wonderful view on the Nanchang Street. Jeff told me that he had never seen a busier street at night in the USA before. He also visited many Chinese bars in the street. We didn’t be with each other on the third day. But he emphasized that he had a great time that day after he came back. In the evening, I taught him how to play guitar. He was so smart that he learned very fast. Then we played billiards together. It seemed that he was unlucky enough that he hit the white ball into the hole five times!
After that, we took a lot of photos and exchanged our presents. He sent a T-shirt, a blanket and a shopping bag to us. We prepared bottles of tea and a beautiful teapot for him. It was an unforgettable night. We didn’t go to sleep until very late. The next morning, it’s time to say goodbye. We gave our address and postcode to each other. I’m sure I will miss them soon. I hope I can visit them one day and we welcome them to Wuxi again any time.